Your Sister's Sister (2011)

Comedy, Drama
Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mike Birbiglia
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
Superbly acted and satisfyingly engaging, Your Sister's Sister subverts rom-com conventions with sensitive direction, an unconventional screenplay, and a big heart.
  • IFC Films Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 29 Jun 2012 Released:
  • 06 Nov 2012 DVD Release:
  • $1.6M Box office:

Trailer:

your sister's sister, and other complications8/10
Lynn Shelton's 'Your Sister's Sister' opened the 2012 Glasgow Film Festival and received a near-rapturous response. This is a keenly observed tale of individuals as complex and frail as you, me and everyone we know...

Iris commemorates the passing of her partner Tom at a gathering of Tom's friends, where Jack, her best friend, offers up a less than flattering eulogy. Jack, coincidentally Tom's sibling, is packed off to a remote island lodge to get his head together, where he encounters Iris's sister, Hannah. Complications ensue - by the bucket-load.

Shelton took time to explain her process in the Q&A at the Glasgow Film Theatre screening. The cast improvised to a certain extent, but spent a vast amount of time creating back-stories for their characters. That preparation pays off in naturalistic exchanges, interruptions and repairs, gestures and looks that remonstrate, encourage or deter in a convincingly authentic manner. The film is very, very funny, and then genuinely touching and fraught. Throw in an ending you will either love (like me) or loathe, and you have a mature, entertaining film whose execution and polish defies the 12-day shooting period.

Wonderful performances from Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass as the conflicted trio. Blunt gets to explore more range here than My Summer of Love or anything else on her CV, and shows a growing maturity. The film is involving from the very first frame and holds your attention throughout. Shelton has found a refreshing formula. Bigger budgets and less challenging schedules may follow, but one hopes the stringent process remains.
A journey I very much enjoyed, with excellent performances8/10
A dialogue heavy film, which I am often very fond of and this is no exception. Basically a three- hander with a trio of sublime and believable performances from Mark Duplass, the always excellent Emily Blunt and the seriously under rated and forever sister (United States of Tara, Rachel's Getting Married) Rosemarie DeWitt. They simply inhabit these characters.

A film told with great honesty and natural flair, with a lot of the dialogue being apparently improvised, I was entertained and intrigued from beginning to end. I laughed out loud on a number of occasions at the spoken wit and the extreme awkwardness of some of the scenes. These are all flawed people, but they are all relatable and likable.

It does fall into a little bit of predictability and cliche as it moves on through the story and I surprisingly had no issue with one aspect that angers many a gay woman, as to me it made sense for the character.

It was a journey I very much enjoyed and it felt quite different from your average rom-com.
A real treat for cinema-goers.8/10
This movie is a real treat to watch, i saw it on a rainy afternoon, alone, at my local cinema, it was pretty quiet, but I must say I think it added to my enjoyment, watching it alone almost made me feel as though I was a fly on the wall in this little cottage with three others and all the goings on. The story is rather sweet, not much really big happens, it's a bit of a slow burner but sometimes that's what you need, but in saying that it is actually a rather complicated story, it's just written and directed quite simply so it's easy and a pleasure to watch. Mark Duplass is not an actor I have seen before, but he has a nice presence on screen, Emily Blunt is her usual exceptional self, but it's Rosemarie Dewitt who steals the show I think, she has plenty of great scenes and she handles her difficult and really not that likable character very well, most of the things I've seen her in she has been good, she seems like a very natural actress, I do hope that she gets a little more recognition and she is cast in more well known films.

I was surprised to find out that a lot of the film was improvised, the story seemed like it would have been one where things were planned out, but then at the same time I guess it is a film which would quite easily be improvised, and knowing that makes the actors performances even better, it's a crime films like this go somewhat unnoticed, because in my opinion I think Dewitt delivers an award worthy performance, but sometimes it's a movie being small and unknown which makes it special.

It's funny, it's touching, it's dramatic, it's everything an indie film lover would enjoy in a movie, I really do highly recommend you catch this movie while you can, it's a real charmer.

I hope you guys enjoy it. :)
Love, love, love this movie10/10
This is the first time I have ever felt so strongly about a movie to write a review. I watched it on an airplane yesterday and cannot stop thinking about the characters. I can't get over how real they were and how great the acting was. I laughed and cried and wanted to be friends with them. The end kills me though! I need a sequel!! Or I've even kept imagining a television series. I would LOVE to be able to continue watching these characters and see their lives play out. When I saw the preview, I thought, hmm this should be interesting with just 3 people in the movie pretty much the whole time, but I seriously loved it and thought it was brilliant. I didn't want it to end!
A relationship movie that feels fresh9/10
My rating: 88/100

I ended up seeing this movie at the Toronto film fest in a rather circuitous way but I'm awfully glad I did.

Nary a car chase nor explosion, but instead a quiet and thoughtful film. It touches on relationships, death, siblings, betrayal, unrequited love, honesty, fears, and forgiveness… and does so in a very believable and refreshing way.

Most of the movie takes place at a secluded rustic waterfront cottage, a family cabin that Iris (Emily Blunt) has suggested her 'bestie', Jay (Mark Duplass) visit to clear his head; he's still emotionally stuck at the one year anniversary of his brother's death.

The secluded locale - without phones, computers and the usually daily distractions - is the conduit which allows the abundance of emotions and introspective feelings bubble up and expose themselves to a trio of characters connected in various and interesting ways.

These three individuals are both frustrating with their flaws, yet endearing with their fragility and weaknesses. How easy it is to identify with all of them! … which can perhaps be attributed to the impromptu conversation Director Lynn Shelton nurtured and encouraged from the mere 70 page script. She confessed that 75% of the dialogue was improvised allowing a unique honesty to develop within each character, thanks to a stellar cast.

I'm thankful Shelton stuck around Toronto for this third screening – she's originally from Seattle which is where this was filmed - and was more than willing to open up to the audience at a post Q&A where we heard her speak passionately and reflectively about the 12 day shoot (wow!) with almost no funding and how she lucked in to Emily Blunt coming on board (thanks to a shared agent) who was keen on the challenge and experience. Also it was nice to hear that during the festival the film had found distribution through IFC, and that cast and crew would now be compensated for this wonderful collaboration.

This film's a winner to me. I hope you have an opportunity to see it.